Perhaps we’ve all become a little bit too quick to define our response to climate change by what I buy, what I eat, where my electricity comes from. Maybe we are forgetting that if climate-friendly options are only ever going to be less convenient, less tasty and more expensive then we’ll only ever have a small portion of people consuming them. And maybe we forget that big leaps forward are possible if people come together to act, rather than acting in isolation.
That was what we explored at London's recent Climate Cocktail Club. 300 braved the cold November weather to hear about how people can come together to act on climate change through politics, made all the more timely with the UK General Election around the corner.
Our speakers got people thinking with some context and provocations. Dr. Michal Nachmany (below, top left) from the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics set out the global climate policy context and explained why 2020 is an important year; it's when countries report their progress and plans to the UN. Mike Hemsley (below, bottom left) of the Committee on Climate Change set out what progress has been made in the UK to date. Ed Gillespie (below, top right) then challenged the crowd with a rallying call for Extinction Rebellion. And finally Hannah Martin (below, bottom right) from Green New Deal UK, explained why it's impossible to separate climate justice from other social justice and explained the Green New Deal policy platform.
Clubbers roamed a room full of stuff to help them explore politics and climate. Possible brought down their big ideas for climate action. Carys Boughton and Charlie Gerstrom set up fantastic boards to explain climate policies (carbon tax-and-dividend, Green New Deal and net zero by 2050). Marine Lefebvre let Clubbers explore our climate bookshelf. Shooka Bidarian let people play the 'guess the climate policy' game. And the evening was closed out with Alex Watson and Beth England delivering a politics-themed Climate Cocktail Pub Quiz.
We doubled the size of the event compared to our May event but still sold out in double-quick time. It seems Londoners are keen for climate cocktails!
That's why we have put together our 'Hold your own Climate Cocktail Club' resource pack, resources for how you can bring people together to talk climate in living rooms, down the pub, at work or at a venue. Those interested in organising a Climate Cocktail Club in 2020 will meet on the evening of 4th December. Email 'london [at] climatecocktailclub [dot] org' for the details.
The aim is to get more people having a chat about climate change rather than sitting at home watching scary netflix documentaries!